Woodward sprouted up as a railtown and has been slowly growing ever since. The original name picked for it was Colton, but by the time the townspeople attempted to ratify it, another town had settled on “Colton” and they had to change the name. Despite that setback, Woodward has survived everything that’s come itsway, including a tornado in 2005 that destroyed part of the east side of town. Woodward hass remained a small town with an Iowan focus on community--and that extends to doggie citizens. Though there are none inside the city limits, less than 20 miles away are more than five vets and veterinary hospitals, allowing for local dogs to be well cared for.
If you’re looking for a filling meal, head down to Woodward’s own Whistlin’ Donkey. The cute name is a sampling of the food that you’ll get: down home classics like burgers and wings, served with a side of local charm. Their outdoor patio is dog-friendly, but call ahead if you’re going to be heading out on the weekend or around a meal rush time to be sure they have a spot open for you. Water bowls are provided for doggie diners. In Woodward, dogs enjoy fresh air, outdoor dining, and room to roam.
The City Center in Woodward offers the beginning of the High Trestle Trail. Start this trek in Colton Park at the old Train Depot, where you’ll find restrooms, green areas to romp, and drinking water. For those adventurous types, be sure to pack a lunch and water for you and your pup, as the trail spans 25 miles all the way to Ankeny. Along the way, the Des Moines River Valley Trail Bridge offers gorgeous scenery through its overlooks and breathtaking vistas. Make it a journey, or track your time so you can get back for supper, but either way your pup will sleep good after this walk.
One of the best parks in central Iowa is the Ledges State Park on the northern edge of town along the Des Moines River. This scenic park of canyons and ledges offers pups a chance to admire nature, or plan a weekend staycation at the campground. Pups and kids will enjoy climbing the rocks and playing in the waterways throughout the park. Picnic areas, shelters and restrooms are located throughout the park, and offer a nice break from the 4 miles of walking trails. The evidence of historic building can be spotted here, like the 1930’s arch stone bridge. Remember to keep your dog leashed at all time in this wild and public park.
The quaint town of Perry, just eleven miles from Woodward, features a great destination for you and your dog. Located in the City Center neighborhood, Pattee Dog Park offers a safe environment to let your pooch run around and enjoy a five-plus acre park. Separated into two sections, one is for smaller shy pups, and the other for big dogs who love to run and romp. Owners will appreciate the benches while Fido plays in the three-level water fountain that keeps the pups cool, and provides drinks. As the only dog park in the area, you and your pooch will be able to socialize with other furry friends and their owners.
The City Center of Minburn is just 14 miles from Woodward, and features the best of Midwest hometown living. Neighbors will often be seen walking their furry friends and socializing along Main Street. Fido and his friends also enjoy visiting the 705-acre Voas Nature Area in the west part of town. Strolling through area watching the wildlife and frolicking in the grass allows your pup to have a snifftastic good time, while enjoying a sunny afternoon and working off excess energy. You can also walk over to Rogers Park and connect with the Raccoon River Valley Trail if you and your pooch feel like a longer hike through the county.